From March 10 to April 4, 2017
March 10, 2017 at 6pm
Amber Esseiva and Karim Sultan
The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar
In collaboration with
form(force) is an exhibition of works drawn from VCU’s campuses in Richmond and Doha.
Through a wide variety of media, including pointing, sculpture, design, craft, and installation, form(force) explores ways in which artists navigate relationships and tensions between embodied and virtual realities. The selection of works evokes a circle of mimicry, in which organic forms are patterned after technological ones, and where technological forms emulate lived experiences in the natural world.
Tasmeem Doha 2017
Analogue Living in a Digital World aims to dialog with art and design’s leading thinkers, educators and practitioners whose ideas transcend media and speak to our human existence in a technological society.
The intent of this conference is to explore the intersection between the analogue and digital within the context of our lived experience, and to examine where the two modes differ, intertwine, and coexist. By looking at past and present art and design methodologies and practices, we endeavor to create a context for examining the relevance of our current attitudes to discover new ways to grow and evolve.
By Amber Esseiva, curatorial Assistant at ICA Richmond, and Karim Sultan, curator at Barjeel Art Foundation
Our natural world and our digital worlds require that we constantly adapt in order for us to feel a sense of belonging. In this way both realms are fragile and in some way expected to perish.
form(force) is a multimedia exhibition of works by artists from VCUarts campuses in Richmond, Virginia and Doha, Qatar. Through painting, sculpture, craft, design, photography, performance, video and sound, form(force) explores the ways in which artists navigate relationships and tensions between embodied and virtual realities. In doing so, the artists in this exhibition consider the transmutability of organic and technological forms by considering how both analog and digital modalities are essential in the production of art.
form(force) brings together works that mimic our human behaviors and cultural patterns through hand-made objects, moving images and performances with works that simulate our natural world through technological means. Together, these works evoke a perpetual dance, a circle of mimicry, in which organic forms are patterned after technological ones, and where technological forms emulate lived experiences in the natural world.
Biographies – Curators
Amber Esseiva is the Associate Curator at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University (ICA VCU). A VCUarts alumna, Esseiva has been essential to the ICA’s programming since joining the institution.
From 2015 to 2016, she worked extensively curating exhibitions by emerging and mid-career artists. Highlights include Anything on a Surface has Space, a discursive event at The Judd Foundation; and a solo exhibition by artist and VCU alum Alina Tenser at A.I.R. Gallery. After her stay at CCS Bard, Esseiva was appointed director of Retrospective gallery in Hudson, NY; guest curator at the 2016 Glasgow International biennial festival of contemporary art; and curator at September gallery, in Hudson, New York.
Karim Sultan is a curator and artist whose works act as a kind of travelogue, both physical and metaphorical. Combining electronic and instrumental approaches, including the computer, field recordings, oud and guitar, he creates experimental sound, music and performances that are imbued with Arab and regional influences.
Sultan has performed locally and internationally as part of programmes and festivals such as Alserkal Programming Artist Commissions, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai (2016, 2017); Other Worlds: Out There Sounds from Out There, Blackpool, UK (2016); REUSE, Kuwait (2016); Sikka Art Fair, Dubai (2016); Something Else, Off Biennale Cairo (2015) and Shubbak: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture, London (2015).
Sultan is director and curator at Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, an independent initiative for managing, preserving and exhibiting an extensive collection of modern and contemporary Arab art. He was also a contributing editor of Kalimat magazine, a platform established in 2010 for Arab creatives to engage in thought and action.
Biographies – Artists and Designers
Bob Kaputof teaches at VCUarts, in Richmond. He is a member of the Kinetic Imaging Faculty. He most recently exhibited at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and at InLight 2016 Richmond, in Virginia.
Brad Thomas Birchett is an inter-media artist and native of Virginia, where he works as an arts instructor and advisor for VCUarts, Richmond. Brad’s work investigates transition and time through making, mixing, moving, recording, collecting, documenting, re-mixing, and other actions.
His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at spaces such as the Bowery Gallery and The Center for Book Arts in New York, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach Virginia, Sam Hill Warehouse Gallery in Prescott Arizona, Philara Gallery in Düsseldorf Germany, Crou’n Haitai Gallery in Seoul, Korea, and Imagine Gallery in Beijing, China.
Debbie Quick is the assistant chair of VCUarts, Richmond, Craft/Material Studies Department. Quick has an MFA from Virginia Craft/Material Studies Department and a BFA from the Tyler School of Art. Her work has been included in numerous national exhibitions. Recently, she was at the Soaring Gardens residency in the Pennsylvania Blue Ridge Mountains. You can hear her discuss her works dealing with empathy and loss in a radio interview for “Art Scene” with Erica Funky on NPR affiliate WVIA.
Fleming Jeffries is a visual artist who explores the intertidal zone between humans and the natural world, utilizing heavy process and drawing tendencies as a means to slow down the mind’s eye. Her works have been shown internationally; recently in New Prints Autumn
2015 at the International Print Center New York, and in Second Nature at North Dakota Museum of Arts. She received an MFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and completed the Printer Training Program at the Tamarind Institute of Lithography in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is currently on the Painting + Printmaking faculty at VCUarts Qatar.
Hillary Waters Fayle is an artist from Elma, New York. Fayle completed a Master of Fine Arts degree in Craft/Material Studies in 2015 at VCUarts, Richmond, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Buffalo State College in 2010. She now lives and works in Richmond, Virginia where she continues her work establishing connections between nature and the human touch. Fayle is also an artist’s assistant, an instructor and program coordinator at VCUarts, Richmond. Her work is currently being shown nationally and abroad and has been published widely online and in print.
Jason Hackett is the studio manager for the Department of Craft and Material Studies at VCUarts, Richmond. His artworks have been exhibited in venues throughout the United States including at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, the Mobile Museum of Art, the Taubman Museum of Art, and internationally at the City Museum of Aviero in Portugal, and Galateea Gallery in Bucharest.
Jason was awarded a 2016 Dean’s Exploratory Grant from VCU, in Richmond, around the development of his research to include the three-dimensional printing of clay. He is also the recipient of a prestigious Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship.
Laura Chessin continues to explore ways to bring her work in the design classroom into her creative practice, and her creative practice to her students. Until recently her primary focus in the classroom has been as both a typographer and publication designer with a research agenda as a filmmaker, both documentary and expressive. Drawing has always been a place she has felt at home, and she only recently found a place for this in her design pedagogy. There may be nothing more demanding than the blank sheet. These drawings are part of a series that explores drawing as pure gesture.
Born in a cabin without electricity in the forested mountains of northern California, Levi Hammett
developed a deep appreciation for the dynamic unpredictability of the natural landscape. This
appreciation evolved into a creative practice that uses design to explore the relationship between humans and their physical environment in terms of space and sense of place, as well as the influence of this relationship on the creation of culture. His work explores a range of mediums including digital interfaces, mobile games, book design, and commercial products.
Levi Hammett received his MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2006 and a BFA in Graphic Design from Oregon State University in 2003.
Maryam is an interdisciplinary designer holding a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and a Masters degree in Design Studies from VCUarts Qatar.
Maryam comes from a family where her father is a fine artist and both grandfathers were craftsmen. Maryam’s curiosity and exploration in design grew from a personal interest in Prototyping and Making. She believes that by pursuing the Maker movement, a recently revived revolution that mixes technology based-mediums and the DIY culture, it can build bridges between the high-tech mediums that exist today and the lost crafts that once existed in the Arabian region.
Matthew Warren lives and works in Richmond, VA. He has been part of numerous group exhibitions both in Richmond, VA and Seattle, WA. Recipient of a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship, he was furthermore chosen to present a solo exhibition through the VMFA in 2013. Matthew received a BFA in Film and Electronic Arts from Bard College, and is currently a faculty member in the Department of Photography and Film at VCUarts, Richmond.
Paolo Cardini is currently Associate Professor in Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. His previous appointment was within the interdisciplinary design graduate program at VCUarts Qatar. His work ranges from product to interaction design and from integrated communication to strategic planning.
Rab McClure’s teaching and creative scholarship mine the sweet spot where design and fine arts overlap. His work investigates form, light, space, material, and memory. He has been invited to present papers and exhibit work most recently in Dubai, Miami, Milan, Vancouver, Helsinki, Rome, Kyoto, London, Montreal, and the Netherlands. Rab is a registered architect, an NCIDQ-certified interior designer, and holds degrees from the University of Virginia, and Yale University.
Reni Gower is a Professor at VCUarts’ Painting and Printmaking Department. In 2014, she received the College Art Association’s Distinguished Teacher of Art Award, as well as VCU’s and VCUarts’ Distinguished Teaching Awards.
Her work is represented in many prestigious collections and it has been exhibited extensively at international and national venues for over 40 years. In addition to her painting practice, she curates award winning traveling exhibitions.
She holds an MFA from Syracuse University, an MA from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Rhys Himsworth has exhibited extensively internationally including in Qatar, India, Korea,
the UK and US. Himsworth has presented at the Royal Computer Society in London, served as a panel member for Fast Media/Slow Knowledge at SGC Philigrafika, in Philadelphia, 2010, and in 2014 presented at the Arab Museum of Modern Art as part of their symposium on Art: Past, Present and Future in the city of Doha.
He is a regular panel member to art, design and education conferences including The Spectres of Evaluation in Melbourne, Australia; Design Principles and Practices, Vancouver, Canada; and the Arts and Society in Rome Italy. He has also served on panels at the College Art Association in Washington D.C. Himsworth has been a visiting lecturer at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, and the University of Hertfordshire, both in the UK; the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; and the Art Institute of Chicago in the US. He currently serves as the Director of Painting and Printmaking at VCUarts Qatar.
Ryan Browning is an American artist living in Doha, Qatar. He has exhibited and curated in galleries and museums internationally. He recently co-curated and co-produced the book/exhibition project Geo Necro, which invited 88 international contemporary artists to submit an artwork depicting something they imagined could be found in a fantasy dungeon, which were then compiled into an adventure format playable with the classic fantasy game Dungeons and Dragons. His work has been written about on Art F City, ARTnews, and Juxtapoz.com. Ryan is represented by ADA Gallery, and is an Assistant Professor at VCUarts Qatar.
Sarah Mizer earned her BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and MFA from VCU, Richmond. Her practice employs traditional craft material in non-traditional strategies and contexts. Mizer has been an Artist in Residence at Penland School of Crafts, The Studios of Key West, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. In addition to a wide-ranging network of galleries, Sarah’s work has been exhibited in the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, The Chrysler Museum, Taubman Museum, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and The Center for Craft Creativity and Design.
Simone Muscolino is the Director of the Art Foundation Department at VCUarts Qatar. He is a multidisciplinary designer and video maker with a research practice concerned with interaction design and time-based media. Simone’s works and installations have been exhibited at venues such as the Venice Biennale, Milano Triennale, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Beijing Biennale of Architecture, and Doha Fire Station.
Matt Spahr, a sculptor from California (among other places), and Valerie Molnar, a painter from Ohio, investigate the transfer of energy and the dynamic exchange within nature with color, form, and complex time-based installations. The collaboration began in 2012 as their work collided through their friendship and mutual love for plants.
Matt earned his BFA from California State and Valerie from The Cleveland Institute of Art. They both made their move to Richmond for their Master of Fine Arts degrees at VCUarts, Richmond. The duo received Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowships, and they attended Mountain Lake’s Art Lab Residency and WavePool Residency together.
Ying-Fang Shen is an animation artist with advanced training in painting and digital art. Her work is influenced by the handmade aesthetics of traditional East Asian art and Taoist philosophy. Taoism drives many of her narratives, and encourages her to work intuitively in the production of some projects by letting the process inspire their direction rather than a predetermined script, with the effect that events become like waves carried on water in these stories. Her animation works have been exhibited in galleries and film festivals world-wide since 2008.